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Britain May Abolish Pub Hours

Pub-goers in London cheer Queen Elizabeth II's announcement that Parliament will soon consider allowing pubs to stay open 24 hours. Currently, pubs must close at 11 p.m. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with London pub manager Charlotte Renick. (This story was corrected on air on Nov. 14, 2002: "It's Thursday, the day we read from your letters, and we start with a correction to yesterday's program. I said that Britain's pubs have closed early, ever since World War II. Our thanks to Charles Day in Bozeman, Montana, Marc James Small in Roanoke, Virginia and Peg Willingham in Arlington, Virginia. All pointed out that closing the pubs early was a World War I innovation, part of the Defence of the Realm Act. Mr. Day notes that the law was "affectionately known to the British' by its acronym 'DORA.' The logic of the pub closings was, he writes, 'to keep factory production levels high. Factory workers, particularly the ammunition factory workers, would be home from the pubs at a reasonable hour so that they would show up well rested on the factory floor the next morning.'"

Copyright 2002 NPR

Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.

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